Checkmate on ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’

Exclusive: Since the end of World War II, what some call the “deep state” has taken hold of the American Republic, stripping the citizens of meaningful control over national security issues, with CIA Director Allen Dulles playing a key early role, according to David Talbot’s new biography reviewed by Lisa Pease.

By Lisa Pease

David Talbot’s new book The Devil’s Chessboard is an anecdotal biography of not just Allen Dulles but of the national security establishment that he helped create. Talbot gave himself the monumental task of summing up a 25-year slice of important history.

Because Talbot has a keen eye for both the absurd and the darkly humorous, he managed to make the disturbing history of that period not only eminently readable but engaging and at times downright entertaining.

CIA Director Allen Dulles

CIA Director Allen Dulles

I have consumed dozens of books on Allen Dulles, the CIA and Cold War history, yet I was still surprised by numerous revelations in Talbot’s book. He often covers well-known episodes through a less well-known set of incidents and characters.

Talbot writes about the ratlines (escape routes from Europe to Latin America for Nazis), but in the context of one particularly Machiavellian character. He writes about Lee Harvey Oswald from the point of view of one of his friends who sold him down the river to the Warren Commission, likely at the behest of the CIA, a friend who later ostensibly committed suicide just as a member of the House Select Committee on Assassinations was about to interview him. Talbot talks about the CIA’s mind-control programs in the context of Allen Dulles submitting his own son to those horrors.

Talbot and his research associate Karen Croft, to whom he dedicated his book, have found all sorts of nuggets in Allen Dulles’s papers, his appointment calendar, oral histories, and other less-used sources. In addition, Talbot infuses his book with anecdotes from interviews he personally conducted. While I found some points I could nitpick in various episodes, overall this is a worthy addition and a much-needed perspective that elucidates how we came to have two governments: the elected one and the one that doesn’t answer to the elected one.

Talbot’s presentation is not linear but episodic, jumping back and forth like a checker on the chessboard in his title to keep subjects thematically together. Doing this allows him to introduce the character of Allen Dulles quickly, by showing him handing over a World War I girlfriend, “a young Czech patriot,” to British agents who suspected her of being an enemy spy, after which, Talbot tells us, she “disappeared forever.”

Talbot demonstrates that Dulles always found a way to do what he wanted, regardless of what he had been asked to do, even from his entry into the World War II’s Office of Strategic Services, the CIA’s forerunner. OSS chief William “Wild Bill” Donovan had tried to assign Dulles to London to exploit Dulles’s cozy relationships with high-net-worth individuals like the Rockefellers whom Dulles served as a lawyer at Sullivan and Cromwell. But Dulles instead got himself assigned to Bern, Switzerland, at the near center of Europe and a financial Mecca for secret bank accounts.

Allen Dulles’s older brother John Foster Dulles had funneled “massive U.S. investments” into Germany post-World War I that flowed back to the U.S. as war loans were paid off. Both Dulles brothers enabled the Nazis financially and socially, with John Foster Dulles at one point defending the character of a Nazi lobbyist who threw a party in New York City to celebrate a Nazi victory in France.

Sparing the Nazis

Talbot makes the case that Allen Dulles was all but a “Double Agent” for the Nazis during World War II. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew how close Dulles was to the Germans but thought Dulles, as an American, would do the President’s bidding, serving as a lure for high-profile Nazis so they could be identified and neutralized.

In pursuing victory, FDR pushed for an unconditional surrender, but Dulles had other plans. He told an agent of SS leader Heinrich Himmler that the Allies’ declaration of the need for unconditional surrender was “merely a piece of paper to be scrapped without further ado if Germany would sue for peace.”

Roosevelt had assigned Dulles to support Project Safehaven, a program to identify and confiscate Nazi assets stashed in neutral countries. But instead Dulles, aided by his friend Tom McKittrick, the head of the Bank for International Settlements, sought to protect his German client’s accounts.

Insubordination to presidents was a running theme in Dulles’s life. But the younger Dulles brother did not yet have the power he would command later in life, so FDR’s policies won out over Dulles’s covert challenges.

Money and the power that money enabled, not ideology, was the predominant motivator for Dulles and his ilk. As Talbot noted, “It is not widely recognized that the Nazi reign of terror was, in a fundamental way, a lucrative racket, an extensive criminal enterprise set up to loot the wealth of Jewish victims and exploit their labor.”

Dulles did not appear to have a problem with the decimation of the Jews. Instead, Dulles believed the real enemy were the Communists, who had the potential to shift the balance of financial power. So Dulles found natural camaraderie with the Nazi elite, who also viewed the Soviets as their biggest threat. Dulles ignored or downplayed the reports he was receiving from escapees and journalists regarding the burning of human beings in concentration camps.

Dulles’s declassified communications showed little regard for the killing of the Jews and much more interest in psychological warfare tricks, “such as distributing counterfeit stamps behind enemy lines depicting Hitler’s profile as a death’s skull, and other cloak-and-dagger antics,” Talbot tells us.

When one reporter took a detailed report of what was happening to Dulles, the journalist said Dulles was “profoundly shocked” and thought action should be taken immediately. Yet Dulles had been receiving similar reports for more than two years and had done nothing about it, and he did next to nothing with this report as well.

Dulles wasn’t the only one keeping the atrocities from being reported, of course. First, the Nazis operated in as much secrecy as possible, so credible reports were hard to come by. But even when they came, many others in government, such as Secretary of State Cordell Hull, turned a blind eye. Hull was one of those who advised President Roosevelt not to allow the St. Louis, a ship of German Jewish refugees, to dock at an American port and who had blocked an important, detailed, first-hand account of what was going on in the camps from reaching the President.

In Italy, Dulles pursued his own secret peace agreement, which he dubbed Operation Sunrise, which flew in the face of FDR’s stated policies. And while Dulles presented himself to people as a personal representative of FDR, the absurdity of that was not lost on some of Dulles’s targets.

Launching the Cold War

During the Nuremberg trials, again, Dulles took the side opposite of what FDR had wanted, the meting out of stern justice for such egregious crimes. Where Roosevelt and other Allied leaders saw war criminals, Dulles saw potential spies to be rescued.

Talbot devotes several chapters to Dulles’s cooperation with and protection of the Nazis. One chapter is devoted to Dulles’s bringing the “Gehlen organization” into the fold of U.S. intelligence, with dubious results.

And, Talbot describes how James Angleton appeared to have blackmailed his way into his position of Chief of Counterintelligence by promising not to expose Dulles’s hiding of Nazi funds. That would explain how Angleton rose to such a key position despite his dubious fitness for the job. The paranoid Angleton ruined the lives of many intelligence officers whom he suspected falsely of being foreign spies, while missing the fact that his good friend in British intelligence, Kim Philby, was a Soviet double-agent. But Allen Dulles was ever Angleton’s protector.

Due to the scope of the topics covered, Talbot is necessarily unable to go in great depth into any of them. His coverage of the Hiss case feels superficial to one who has read a great deal on the subject. For example, Talbot speculates that Alger Hiss, a senior State Department official accused of spying for the Soviets, didn’t want to recognize Whittaker Chambers, the chief witness against him, because the two had perhaps engaged in a homosexual liaison.

While that may be true, I’ve always found Hiss’s own reasons compelling: Chambers had gone by another name when he had first known him; it had been many years since they had met; and Chambers’s weight had changed dramatically. That seems to better explain why Hiss claimed he didn’t know Chambers until he had a face-to-face meeting with him. Then, he recognized his long-ago tenant.

Talbot sprinkles a little sexual innuendo throughout the book. Personally, I find that takes away from the telling of history because anyone can say anything about someone else when the person is no longer alive to dispute it. In most cases, these suspicions are neither provable nor relevant. Fortunately, these are minimal interruptions to the overall tale.

Talbot makes a compelling argument that a lot of the abuses of the intelligence apparatus that we are dealing with now had their genesis under Allen Dulles’s version of the CIA. He traces the notion that the CIA is “above the law” and unanswerable to oversight to the McCarthy hearings, where Dulles earned the undying loyalty of the CIA by refusing to turn over Sen. Joe McCarthy’s targets for questioning.

McCarthy was clearly overreaching in his pursuit of suspected Communists and homosexuals as alleged national security threats but there should have been another way to deal with that than by claiming the CIA was above the law. That single act of defiance, perhaps more than anything else, paved the way to the egregious CIA abuses that have occurred in the years since, including the illegal wiretapping of elected officials, opening them up to blackmail.

In another part of the book, Talbot details the rise of Nixon under, in part, Dulles’s sponsorship. Most of us know that Nixon received illegal campaign donations when he was running for president. But Nixon also shook down those who wanted him to run for Congress, claiming he couldn’t afford to live on the salary of a Congressman and that he’d need supplementary income if he were to run. These are the kinds of juicy details Talbot’s book provides in spades.

As CIA Director

President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Dulles as the fifth CIA director and the first civilian director in 1953, but, as Talbot makes clear, Dulles overrode some of Eisenhower’s wishes by collaborating with his brother, John Foster Dulles, who was Secretary of State. By and large, Eisenhower was okay with letting the Dulles brothers run U.S. overt and covert foreign policy as they helped shape the worsening Cold War.

Their hard-line anti-communism and sympathy for colonialism included organizing coups in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954 and blocking a political settlement of the Vietnam conflict that would have involved elections leading to the likely victory of Ho Chi Minh. (John Foster Dulles died in 1959. The international airport outside Washington D.C. is named in his honor.)

One chapter focuses on the killing of “dangerous ideas” in the form of a lecturer at Columbia University, Jesús Galíndéz. He and compatriots had fought in the Spanish Civil War and fled to the Dominican Republic, only to find that they had “left Franco’s frying pan and landed in Trujillo’s fire.” Galíndéz later escaped the Dominican Republic for America and wrote a damning 750-page essay called “The Era of Trujillo,” as his PhD thesis.

Talbot reveals the role of CIA operative Robert Maheu and ex-FBI agent John Frank in the kidnapping of Galíndéz and his delivery to Trujillo, who tortured him, boiled him alive and fed him to the sharks. With the help of Dulles’s CIA, Galíndéz died in 1956.

Talbot also argues that the CIA was “too modest” when it claimed it was not responsible for the death of Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba who was assassinated just days before John Kennedy was inaugurated in 1961. The CIA basically handed Lumumba over to the people who killed him, making the Agency, at the very least, strong accessories to the plot, and hardly the failed-plot-bystanders, the story that CIA officials sold to the Church Committee.

Though Eisenhower had given the Dulles brothers a long leash for their foreign policy schemes, President John F. Kennedy had different ideas. As president, he wanted to run his own foreign policy, and this deeply rankled Allen Dulles. However, in his first months in office, Kennedy acquiesced to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961. Furious that he let the CIA sell him on the scheme that was hatched under Eisenhower, Kennedy vowed to rein in the freewheeling CIA.

Dulles hadn’t had to answer to anyone for a long time. But his sloppy Bay of Pigs operation cost him all credibility with Kennedy, who took the high road publicly, refusing to blame the CIA outright. But in private, he made it clear the Agency was not to be trusted and that he wanted to shatter it into a million pieces. The enmity between the pair grew.

Allen Dulles also defied Kennedy’s wishes when the President promoted an opening to the Left in Italy. Under Dulles, the CIA continued working against those same forces while supporting the Right as the spy agency and its predecessor, the OSS, had done since World War II.

Attorney General Robert Kennedy was so suspicious of Dulles’s secret reach that after the Bay of Pigs fiasco he found Dulles’s sister working in the State Department and had her fired. President Kennedy ousted Dulles in November 1961, replacing him with John McCone.

But Dulles did not go quietly into the cold night, as Talbot tells it, but ran, essentially, a government in exile from his home on the Potomac. Talbot details some of the comings and goings and how Dulles may have used his own book tour to help plan and plot the assassination of President Kennedy.

The JFK Assassination

Toward the end of the book, Talbot focuses nearly as much on President Kennedy and the plot to assassinate him as he does on Allen Dulles, with mixed results. While Talbot has the facts right in the broad strokes, if not all the small details, his focus was, in my opinion, a tad misplaced in spots. For example, he appears to believe E. Howard Hunt’s deathbed “confession,” which many in the research community do not.

Hunt, a career intelligence officer who became infamous as a leader of Nixon’s Watergate burglary team, implicated President Lyndon B. Johnson in the plot to kill Kennedy, which has never made sense to me. If LBJ was so ruthless that he killed his way to the presidency, why did he decide not to run again in 1968? Historically, when people have killed their way to the throne, they do not voluntarily abdicate it.

And Hunt’s “confession” seemed motivated more by the goal of leaving his family a little money after his death than by a desire to tell the truth. Indeed, even Talbot is puzzled at things Hunt appears not to know that he would necessarily have known had he been privy to the inner workings of the plot.

Clearly, Talbot focuses on Hunt because of Hunt’s well-documented long-term friendship with Dulles. And, I do believe, from my own research, that Hunt was likely in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, presumably as paymaster, his usual role in operations, based in large part on the fuller evidence from which Talbot created his abbreviated summary on that point. But I’m not persuaded, by this presentation or my other research, that Hunt knew the details of the actual plot.

From my own 25-plus years of research into the documentary record of the Kennedy assassination, I have come to believe it more likely that Richard Helms, James Angleton and David Atlee Phillips were the top plotters, not Dulles. But, to Talbot’s point, all of these men were beholden, at different levels, to Dulles; in fact, Angleton carried Dulles’s ashes at his funeral in 1969.

David Atlee Phillips gained power in the CIA because of his successful operations during the 1954 overthrow of Arbenz in Guatemala under Dulles. Helms was apparently insulated from the Bay of Pigs disaster in April 1961, perhaps by Dulles to keep a loyal person at the upper echelon of the CIA.

Given the hostility between Dulles and Kennedy, it remains a historical anomaly that Dulles managed to finagle his way onto the official investigation of Kennedy’s assassination. In that position, Allen Dulles was more responsible than anyone for the deliberate obfuscations of the Warren Commission. Dulles spent more minutes working for the commission than any other member. I agree with Talbot that the body should more appropriately have been named “the Dulles Commission.”

Talbot repudiated the recently resurfaced canard that Robert Kennedy had asked LBJ to appoint Dulles to the commission, a point lawyer and former House Select Committee investigator Dan Hardway has also recently made in detail recently with additional evidence. (See Section VIII in Hardway’s article “Thank you, Phil Shenon.”)

Dulles really did have ties to the family of Ruth and Michael Paine, the couple that housed the Oswalds in the months before the assassination. And Dulles really did monitor New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s case against Clay Shaw through the man Garrison had hired to provide “security,” Gordon Novel.

One of the most interesting people Talbot examined in the latter part of his book was JFK adviser and historian Arthur Schlesinger, who apparently had a distaste for Dulles and the CIA’s actions professionally while maintaining a personal and even warm relationship with Dulles though Schlesinger came to question that friendship in later years.

One of Talbot’s chapters, “I can’t look and I won’t look,” is named for something Schlesinger said when confronted with evidence of conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination. Here was a man so wedded to his circle that he did not want to believe someone he knew and admired could be responsible for such a heinous crime.

Toward the end of his life, Schlesinger reflected on his “truce” and friendship with Dulles’s protégé Richard Helms and later CIA Director William Casey. Talbot quoted Schlesinger as saying, “I did wonder at one’s [meaning his own] capacity to continue liking people who have been involved in wicked things. Is this deplorable weakness? Or commendable tolerance?”

The same must be asked of the public’s tolerance of secret operations that run counter to the principles of democracy in an open society. Is it commendable to tolerate assassinations and the darker deeds in the name of preserving the republic, or, more accurately, protecting the holdings of corporate leaders in the republic, or is it our weakness, as citizens of a democratic republic, that we have not raised our voices in protest of a secret, parallel government that has and no doubt will continue to pursue an independent path, out of control of our democracy?

That is the question that Talbot’s book asks between the lines. The Devil’s Chessboard gives us essential information to ponder before we make our answer.

Lisa Pease is a writer who has examined issues ranging from the Kennedy assassination to voting irregularities in recent U.S. elections.

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35 comments for “Checkmate on ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’

  1. F. G. Sanford
    October 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I hope I beat the disinformation specialists to the proverbial “punch” with this comment. Every time the JFK assassination comes up, certain publishers, pundits and commentators with dubious connections to the intelligence community bring up the “LBJ did it” theory based on an unidentified finger print in the book depository. That print is crystal clear and is on file at the National Archives. Examination by certified latent print experts insist it does NOT belong to Mac Wallace. Give it a rest, Debbie. But while we’re on the subject of buried investigations, who is it that has managed to bury the Dennis Hastert case? Since when is it that the blackmailer skates, the victim cops a plea bargain, a pedophile ring is involved, and national security is rumored to be compromised, but the whole story just disappears off the entire media radar screen? The devil’s chessboard is still full of pieces, and the game is still on. Apparently, we’re looking sideways, not backward OR forward.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 27, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      F.G., you are right about these sideways investigations. As far as press coverage goes over that Hastert thing, I could chop off three fingers and count on one hand, how many articles there have been, for me to read. Also, as I posted with a comment I made, inside of another consortiumnews article, I asked why more hasn’t been done to investigate David Petraeus over the Benghazi attack on 9/11/12. Although there are good arguments to be made suggesting LBJ sanctioned the murder of JFK, one could also consider that LBJ’s place was to look, but not touch. In other words give the new president, a case to be made, of his having plausible deniability. Whether, LBJ’s involvement in the JFK assassination (along with any knowledge he had regarding the murders of MLK & RFK) was deep or peripheral, LBJ had run his course. It was time for Nixon to serve his terms in the White House, anyway.

      • Dick Gabrio
        October 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm

        I guess one can continue to ponder why those in power are loath to conduct investigations into the misdeeds of their compatriots, though the answer seems pretty obvious. When they do, it’s either a sideways investigation (non investigation, witch hunt, etc.) or a “whitewash” like the Warren Commission and the 911 Investigation, etc. Along with all the other players in the intelligence community and elsewhere, I believe that it is hard to argue that Johnson was not complicit in the JFK assassination (his entire career was one of endless corruption), particularly in the early cover-up stages. Was Allen Dulles a self-serving, duplicitous, evil A-hole? Absolutely! The “Deep State” lumbers on . . .

      • Dick Gabrio
        October 27, 2015 at 6:02 pm

        I guess one can continue to ponder why those in power are loath to conduct investigations into the misdeeds of their compatriots, though the answer seems pretty obvious. When they do, it’s either a sideways investigation (non investigation, witch hunt, etc.) or a “whitewash” like the Warren Commission and the 911 Investigation, etc. Along with all the others in the intelligence community and elsewhere who played a role in the murder of Kennedy, I believe that it is hard to argue that Johnson was not complicit in the JFK assassination (his entire career was one of endless corruption), particularly in the early cover-up stages. Was Allen Dulles a self-serving, duplicitous, evil A-hole? Absolutely! The “Deep State” lumbers on . . .

    • Mary Tracy
      October 27, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      There’s quite a difference between saying that “LBJ did it” and saying that there is evidence that LBJ knew about the plot on JFK and did things to assist it and help cover it up.

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 28, 2015 at 10:16 am

        If the group of conspirators who mapped out John Kennedy’s assassination were around today, and were to listen to us all try and unravel this assassination mystery out, they would be more than proud of themselves, for the confusion they have given any honest investigator, is certainly that, confusing. Do you want the gunman, or the person who hired the gunman? Think of it this way, if LBJ wasn’t involved in the plot, then should not his first point of order, have been to track down and prosecute the guilty. To some the Warren Report did that, but I beg you to question this….as really! If I were suddenly made president, I know I would want to prosecute and punish any president killers. To me it would be an act of self preservation. The strangest part is, whoever all was involved, they honesty believed they were doing the upmost patriotic thing, by murdering JFK. It’s just the way they think. This ain’t no diner club detective mystery, that’s for sure.

    • Frank Winkhorst
      October 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      I’m surprised Lisa doesn’t mention Ed Lansdale. Does anyone know whether the Talbot book mentions him? Lansdale is the key. Both Col. Fletcher Prouty and Gen. Victor Krulak identify Lansdale in one of the Dealey Plaze photos. If we knew who Lansdale was working for, that would seal the case one way or the other vis-a-vis Dulles’s involvement.

      • Vietvet68
        November 8, 2015 at 2:36 am

        Lansdale was CIA…and up to his neck in Vietnam…recall JFK was having second thoughts about Vietnam…the powers wanted that war. LBJ rescinds a JFK NSAM from Oct 63 calling for future troop withdrawls. CIA was heavy in the early stages of Vietnam from mid 1950’s on….connect the dots.

    • Dave Johnson
      October 29, 2015 at 10:17 am

      James Corbett of the Corbett Report explains in a video posted on Youtube why the Hastert case was buried. In the 1990s Bill Clinton ordered the FBI to begin digging up dirt on politicians in anticipation of a possible impeachment. Several Republican Congressmen had scandals exposed or had to resign. Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingston and Dan Burton are examples. This project is dubbed COINTELPRO 2. The FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds came across documents in this program. The FBI found that Turkish intelligence, through Turkish-American businessmen, was bribing Dennis Hastert. Some of the bribes involved money and some involved procuring children for Hastert’s unique appetites. . The Turks photographed Hastert’s encounters and were using the information to blackmail Hastert. The FBI also knew what was happening and did nothing.
      The gathering of intelligence to blackmail Congressmen and US Judges continues to this day. The prosecution of Hastert was shut down to cover up the ongoing surveillance and blackmailing of high ranking government officials.
      The title of James Corbett’s video is “The REAL Hastert Scandal: Pedophilia, Drug Money, and Blackmail.”
      Here is the Youtube URL
      https://youtu.be/5a31o6AfjJw

      • F. G. Sanford
        October 30, 2015 at 4:46 am

        Thanks, I’m glad somebody is paying attention. Hastert entered Congress as an ex-high school coach with an insignificant financial portfolio, and left Congress with a net worth of seventeen million dollars. Any thinking person should be able to deduce that Hastert was peddling something much more lucrative than “family values”.

      • lysias
        October 30, 2015 at 5:15 pm

        One of the characters in Sibel Edmonds’s novel “The Lone Gladio” is a thinly disguised version of Hastert.

  2. Abbybwood
    October 27, 2015 at 1:58 pm
  3. October 27, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    This is a good intro to the Talbot book.

    This Thursday night on Black Op Radio, Len Osanic and myself will interview Talbot, for almost two hours. This book is so large in scope that you cannot do it justice in a review or even in a two hour interview.

    Allen Dulles was one of the most evil men in the American scene in the 20th century. And Talbot’s book is the best expose of him in this regard that I know of.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 28, 2015 at 11:35 am

      If possible, provide a link to the podcast. Also, love your research regarding the JFK assassination.

      • Frank Winkhorst
        October 28, 2015 at 12:49 pm

        Just go to BlackOpRadio.com and click on Archived Shows and then 2015 after 9:00 PM on Thursday. Before then, you may want to listen to the Dan Hardway interview (#754) about the same subject. It’s quite enlightening.

      • Frank Winkhorst
        October 28, 2015 at 12:57 pm

        On 2nd thought, go here: http://www.blackopradio.com/pod/ and click on black755a.mp3

        Apparently, the show is already available, just not linked from the Archive page.

  4. Andrew White
    October 27, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    This sounds like a good read, especially about Dulles’s ties to the Paines.

    I just recently read the Russian novel about Dulles’s attempt at making a separate peace with Himmler, Seventeen Moments of Spring. It’s about the best spy novel I’ve ever read.

  5. onno
    October 28, 2015 at 6:59 am

    I was always impressed with the USA being the largest democracy in the world, but after I had lived there for more than 25 years and now following the neocon poker games in Washington against Russia, I realize that the USA consist of a dangerous, corrupt schemes of conspiracies hidden by a great show in the White House and on the Road with Air Force One as a back-up of Power.
    After reading this article the conclusion is that American democracy is a phony and its drive for hegemony originates in the sick minds of power hungry people in Washington playing dangerous ‘Poker Games’ of wars and coups.

    Thank you, Lisa Pease for another ‘eye opener’ in the DIRT of US politics. Apparently, US presidents are just ‘puppets’ of the behind scene power elite like we see today again under Obama and its renewal of the Cold War with Russia. People like Soros, Nuland, Brzezinsky and others seem to have more power than the president. Like former president Jimmy Carter said USA is no democracy anymore its run by irresponsible oligarchs!

  6. Carroll
    October 28, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Just bought the book. Really glad you reviewed it. This is a keeper!

  7. Trowbridge Ford
    October 28, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Since the Probe magazine people running this thread claimed in a special January 1996 issue that I lyingly-led Nixon’s covert destruction, I just want to add that it was Dicky Dick who got rid of LBJ when he went back to Texas on Air Force One after their most belated showdown, thanks to dilantin pills that Nixon’s private physician had given him during the flight: and LBJ did know about the Helms-led plot to kill JFK but only prevented it from resulting in a nuclear war, making Helms, through his letting William King Harvey do whatever he wanted when it came to domestic executive assassinations, the worst DCI of all.

  8. March
    October 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    The Book depository was a CIA front nothing to do with the school district. It was used by the CIA to ship books ti foreign countries and had recently been purchased.

  9. October 28, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK: JOHNSON VS. DULLES
    Phil Nelson
    __________________________________________________________________
    In her review of David Talbot’s new book, The Devil’s Chessboard (“Checkmate on The Devils Chessboard”, Consortium News October 27, 2015), Lisa Pease provides a succinct summary of Talbot’s impressive work. With one notable exception, she has nothing but praise for his seminal research. That exception relates to his reference to E. Howard Hunt’s “final confession” identifying LBJ as the top of the chain of command that brought about the death of JFK, which is not congruent with the conventional wisdom she and her fellow “researchers” have been so anxious to avoid.
    Her review isolates that premise as follows:

    “While Talbot has the facts right in the broad strokes, if not all the small details, his focus was, in my opinion, a tad misplaced in spots. For example, he appears to believe E. Howard Hunt’s deathbed “confession,” which many in the research community do not.
    Hunt, a career intelligence officer who became infamous as a leader of Nixon’s Watergate burglary team, implicated President Lyndon B. Johnson in the plot to kill Kennedy, which has never made sense to me. If LBJ was so ruthless that he killed his way to the presidency, why did he decide not to run again in 1968? Historically, when people have killed their way to the throne, they do not voluntarily abdicate it.”

    But E. Howard Hunt was far from alone in fingering LBJ as “the pivotal player” or, as I prefer to cite him, “the mastermind”. Madeleine Duncan Brown, Billy Sol Estes, Barr McClellan, and no less than Jack Ruby were strongly of that opinion, where Ruby told reporters dogging him during his appearance before Earl Warren that the motives of the principals were very tangible and that they should be looking at “the man at the top”.

    Indeed, as other scholars have discovered, Lyndon not only forced himself onto the ticket in Los Angeles in 1960 by threatening to destroy JFK using information provided to him by J. Edgar Hoover but he even sent his Chief Administrative Assistant, Cliff Carter, down to Dallas to make sure all the arrangements were in place for the assassination. And after the event, he took an active role in managing the cover up, insuring that DA Henry Wade speak no more about “a possible conspiracy” and even calling Charles Crenshaw, M.D., who was responsible for the treatment of the alleged assassin at Parkland Hospital, to ask for “a deathbed confession”. Lyndon Johnson was a “hands on” guy who left nothing to chance
    .
    Ignoring this damning evidence, we have a concise statement from her about why the “research community” is resistant to the premise of LBJ’s direct involvement in the planning and execution of the death of John F. Kennedy: “Such a concept is simply impossible because five years later, when he had a chance to run for re-election, he chose not to — Case Closed.” But that claim begs for much closer scrutiny.
    That she and others have grounded their refusal to explore LBJ’s numerous ties to the “crime of the century” to such a tenuous point is clearly and demonstrably “absurd.” His criminal record — attested to by the impeccable credentials of Texas Ranger (later U.S. Marshal) Clint Peoples — began decades before the assassination and continued, on increasingly higher levels throughout his administration. Peoples, for example, would convince a Texas grand jury in 1984 that one of the deaths Johnson had commissioned (through his aides, Cliff Carter and Malcolm “Mac” Wallace) of Henry Marshall, an inspector for the Department of Agriculture, was a “homicide” rather than a “suicide”. That a man who had been shot five times with a single-shot rifle, had carbon monoxide in his lungs and had been rendered unconscious by a blow to the head could have committed suicide was a complete absurdity from the beginning but was typical of justice in Texas at the time. People’s success, however, came only after LBJ and his aides, were deceased and could no longer be indicted. Unsurprisingly, this development was promptly extinguished by the mainstream media as soon as it was announced and has thereafter remained “untouchable” by the Fourth Estate.

    In a four-year-old Salon article (“The Other Kennedy Conspiracy”, November 21, 2011), Ms. Pease declares that she “is an expert on the assassinations of the ’60s in general and the Robert Kennedy assassination in particular.” The following excerpt from that article summarizes the status of her research into RFK’s murder:

    “Fact: The CIA was so concerned about Robert Kennedy in the last year of his life that it put spying on him on a par with spying on the Soviet Union, according to a report in the Washington Post after it obtained this data.
    Perhaps the CIA was also anxious about RFK because, as David Talbot (the founder and current CEO of Salon) recounted in his 2007 book, “Brothers,” Robert Kennedy harbored suspicions about the CIA’s possible complicity in his brother’s death. One of Robert’s first calls after JFK’s assassination was to the CIA to ask if the agency had killed his brother. If members of the CIA were involved in the death of JFK, could they afford to let Robert ascend to an office where he’d have the power but to do something about that?
    I’m well aware that extraordinary claims deserve extraordinary evidence. I have much more to support what I’ve said here, which I am laying out in book form. I hope only to have cracked your mind open, because Occam’s Razor fails us when the simplest explanation is the carefully planned cover story.”

    Occam’s Razor, moreover, only applies to alternative theories that explain the available evidence equally well. The book that she stated she was “laying out” has evidently not made much progress since, so until it is published we can only speculate about what she considers so “extraordinary.” But, had she not been so zealous about protecting LBJ’s tainted legacy for at least a quarter-century, she might have connected a few more of his presidential treacheries into patterns that could possibly explain why Johnson decided to give up on being re-elected. It had much to do with the precarious position that he had placed himself in — after having won the landslide victory in ’64, how he had been swallowed by his own hubris in creating the Viet Nam quagmire — with his record fall in the polls. By early 1968, the Tet Offensive shattered the public’s confidence in his handling of the war, Eugene McCarthy had nearly trounced him in the New Hampshire primary, and then Robert Kennedy entered the race, which caused his chances of being reelected to be very much in jeopardy.

    Johnson knew his ego could never deal with defeat, even in the early primaries, and decided that he ought to quit the race while he still could. But an even greater reason may have existed that should not be summarily discarded. If the provenance of the order to “take out” RFK came not just from the highest echelons of the FBI or CIA but to the person who had control over those agencies, it is conceivable that by March 31, 1968, he had already given Helms and Hoover (et. al.) the order to eliminate any possibility that Bobby Kennedy might one day become president.

    It is clear that Sirhan Sirhan did not shoot the fatal shot (one of four fired from behind); and there is mounting evidence of a high-level conspiracy involving the CIA, the FBI and the LAPD. It follows that clear lines might be traced back to LBJ’s possible instigation of RFK’s assassination. If that could be proven, another possible explanation for Johnson’s decision to quit the race — merely two weeks after Bobby’s entry — would become that “Occam’s Razor” that she cites: by taking himself out of the race he could ensure that almost no one would seriously regard him as the culprit.

    There have been many other researchers who have also probably been disappointed that Mr. Talbot even mentioned E. Howard Hunt’s “confessions” — which left open the question of LBJ’s involvement in JFK’s assassination — instead of making a stronger case of Allen Dulles’ key role in the 1963 coup de etat. Perhaps his work will help to put the onus where it should more properly be placed — at LBJ’s door.

    My book, LBJ: From Mastermind to The Colossus explains in greater depth the reasons the “driving force” behind the assassination could not have been Allen Dulles, where that role could only have been fulfilled by Lyndon Johnson.
    ____________________________________
    Phillip F. Nelson is the author of LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination (Skyhorse Publishing Co., 2010; 2011; 2013)and LBJ: From Mastermind to The Colossus (Skyhorse Publishing Co. 2014)

    • Lisa Pease
      October 30, 2015 at 12:00 am

      Madeleine Brown has never been a credible witness. Every time a new name surfaces in the research community, Brown “remembers” that person at the pre-assassination party.

      And how do you explain away the oral interview of LBJ’s aide describing him cowering on Air Force One on the flight back to DC, literally hiding in the bathroom, afraid “they” would “kill us all”?

      Yes, LBJ covered it up. But he didn’t know what exactly he was covering up, but he told another aide he suspected the CIA. “We all did,” Richard Goodwin said, re suspecting the CIA.

  10. October 28, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK: JOHNSON VS. DULLES
    Phil Nelson
    __________________________________________________________________
    In her review of David Talbot’s new book, The Devil’s Chessboard (“Checkmate on The Devils Chessboard”, Consortium News October 27, 2015), Lisa Pease provides a succinct summary of Talbot’s impressive work. With one notable exception, she has nothing but praise for his seminal research. That exception relates to his reference to E. Howard Hunt’s “final confession” identifying LBJ as the top of the chain of command that brought about the death of JFK, which is not congruent with the conventional wisdom she and her fellow “researchers” have been so anxious to avoid.

    Her review isolates that premise as follows:

    “While Talbot has the facts right in the broad strokes, if not all the small details, his focus was, in my opinion, a tad misplaced in spots. For example, he appears to believe E. Howard Hunt’s deathbed “confession,” which many in the research community do not.
    Hunt, a career intelligence officer who became infamous as a leader of Nixon’s Watergate burglary team, implicated President Lyndon B. Johnson in the plot to kill Kennedy, which has never made sense to me. If LBJ was so ruthless that he killed his way to the presidency, why did he decide not to run again in 1968? Historically, when people have killed their way to the throne, they do not voluntarily abdicate it.”

    But E. Howard Hunt was far from alone in fingering LBJ as “the pivotal player” or, as I prefer to cite him, “the mastermind”. Madeleine Duncan Brown, Billy Sol Estes, Barr McClellan, and no less than Jack Ruby were strongly of that opinion, where Ruby told reporters dogging him during his appearance before Earl Warren that the motives of the principals were very tangible and that they should be looking at “the man at the top”.

    Indeed, as other scholars have discovered, Lyndon not only forced himself onto the ticket in Los Angeles in 1960 by threatening to destroy JFK using information provided to him by J. Edgar Hoover but he even sent his Chief Administrative Assistant, Cliff Carter, down to Dallas to make sure all the arrangements were in place for the assassination. And after the event, he took an active role in managing the cover up, insuring that DA Henry Wade speak no more about “a possible conspiracy” and even calling Charles Crenshaw, M.D., who was responsible for the treatment of the alleged assassin at Parkland Hospital, to ask for “a deathbed confession”. Lyndon Johnson was a “hands on” guy who left nothing to chance
    .
    Ignoring this damning evidence, we have a concise statement from her about why the “research community” is resistant to the premise of LBJ’s direct involvement in the planning and execution of the death of John F. Kennedy: “Such a concept is simply impossible because five years later, when he had a chance to run for re-election, he chose not to — Case Closed.” But that claim begs for much closer scrutiny.

    That she and others have grounded their refusal to explore LBJ’s numerous ties to the “crime of the century” to such a tenuous point is clearly and demonstrably “absurd.” His criminal record — attested to by the impeccable credentials of Texas Ranger (later U.S. Marshal) Clint Peoples — began decades before the assassination and continued, on increasingly higher levels throughout his administration. Peoples, for example, would convince a Texas grand jury in 1984 that one of the deaths Johnson had commissioned (through his aides, Cliff Carter and Malcolm “Mac” Wallace) of Henry Marshall, an inspector for the Department of Agriculture, was a “homicide” rather than a “suicide”. That a man who had been shot five times with a single-shot rifle, had carbon monoxide in his lungs and had been rendered unconscious by a blow to the head could have committed suicide was a complete absurdity from the beginning but was typical of justice in Texas at the time. People’s success, however, came only after LBJ and his aides, were deceased and could no longer be indicted. Unsurprisingly, this development was promptly extinguished by the mainstream media as soon as it was announced and has thereafter remained “untouchable” by the Fourth Estate.

    In a four-year-old Salon article (“The Other Kennedy Conspiracy”, November 21, 2011), Ms. Pease declares that she “is an expert on the assassinations of the ’60s in general and the Robert Kennedy assassination in particular.” The following excerpt from that article summarizes the status of her research into RFK’s murder:

    “Fact: The CIA was so concerned about Robert Kennedy in the last year of his life that it put spying on him on a par with spying on the Soviet Union, according to a report in the Washington Post after it obtained this data.
    Perhaps the CIA was also anxious about RFK because, as David Talbot (the founder and current CEO of Salon) recounted in his 2007 book, “Brothers,” Robert Kennedy harbored suspicions about the CIA’s possible complicity in his brother’s death. One of Robert’s first calls after JFK’s assassination was to the CIA to ask if the agency had killed his brother. If members of the CIA were involved in the death of JFK, could they afford to let Robert ascend to an office where he’d have the power but to do something about that?
    I’m well aware that extraordinary claims deserve extraordinary evidence. I have much more to support what I’ve said here, which I am laying out in book form. I hope only to have cracked your mind open, because Occam’s Razor fails us when the simplest explanation is the carefully planned cover story.”

    Occam’s Razor, moreover, only applies to alternative theories that explain the available evidence equally well. The book that she stated she was “laying out” has evidently not made much progress since, so until it is published we can only speculate about what she considers so “extraordinary.” But, had she not been so zealous about protecting LBJ’s tainted legacy for at least a quarter-century, she might have connected a few more of his presidential treacheries into patterns that could possibly explain why Johnson decided to give up on being re-elected. It had much to do with the precarious position that he had placed himself in — after having won the landslide victory in ’64, how he had been swallowed by his own hubris in creating the Viet Nam quagmire — with his record fall in the polls. By early 1968, the Tet Offensive shattered the public’s confidence in his handling of the war, Eugene McCarthy had nearly trounced him in the New Hampshire primary, and then Robert Kennedy entered the race, which caused his chances of being reelected to be very much in jeopardy.

    Johnson knew his ego could never deal with defeat, even in the early primaries, and decided that he ought to quit the race while he still could. But an even greater reason may have existed that should not be summarily discarded. If the provenance of the order to “take out” RFK came not just from the highest echelons of the FBI or CIA but to the person who had control over those agencies, it is conceivable that by March 31, 1968, he had already given Helms and Hoover (et. al.) the order to eliminate any possibility that Bobby Kennedy might one day become president.

    It is clear that Sirhan Sirhan did not shoot the fatal shot (one of four fired from behind); and there is mounting evidence of a high-level conspiracy involving the CIA, the FBI and the LAPD. It follows that clear lines might be traced back to LBJ’s possible instigation of RFK’s assassination. If that could be proven, another possible explanation for Johnson’s decision to quit the race — merely two weeks after Bobby’s entry — would become that “Occam’s Razor” that she cites: by taking himself out of the race he could ensure that almost no one would seriously regard him as the culprit.

    There have been many other researchers who have also probably been disappointed that Mr. Talbot even mentioned E. Howard Hunt’s “confessions” — which left open the question of LBJ’s involvement in JFK’s assassination — instead of making a stronger case of Allen Dulles’ key role in the 1963 coup de etat. Perhaps his work will help to put the onus where it should more properly be placed — at LBJ’s door.

    My book, LBJ: From Mastermind to The Colossus explains in greater depth the reasons the “driving force” behind the assassination could not have been Allen Dulles, where that role could only have been fulfilled by Lyndon Johnson.
    ____________________________________
    Phillip F. Nelson is the author of LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination (Skyhorse Publishing Co., 2010; 2011; 2013)and LBJ: From Mastermind to The Colossus (Skyhorse Publishing Co. 2014)

    • F. G. Sanford
      October 28, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      William King Harvey worked for Dulles, not LBJ. Your thesis is bankrupt.

  11. October 28, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I apologize to everyone for the entry of Mr. T. Ford and Nelson on this thread about the new Talbot book.

    When you write a journal as distinguished as Probe Magazine was, you gather some enemies, since you try and keep everything on the up and up. That is why Probe was called the best journal on the JFK case ever. And that is not me saying it, its people like Ray Marcus, Zach Sklar, Cyril Wecht, and Deborah Conway.

    No book, especially one that is over 600 pages long is perfect. One only hopes that in dealing with such an important subject as Allen Dulles, that Talbot does his very best and digs as deep as possible and deduces logically from the facts he adduces. I would say that about 90 percent of the time, Talbot does this. Which is a very high percentage in this field.

    There are parts of Lisa’s review I agree with and parts I don’t. I will be reviewing this book later. I am now reading it a second time. Because there is so much in it, and so much that is important, I need to be sure I have all the info in my notes before I start writing. I don’t want to cheat the reader or the author.

    But concerning the Hunt “confession”, I agree with her opinion on it, but not her reasoning. I know a bit more about this than she or Talbot do because I know the reporter who initially started Hunt down this path, many years before it ended as it did. Neither Talbot, nor Lisa, mentions him. But he is a very good journalist, and knows the JFK case quite well. And since he was present at the beginning, he sheds a lot of new light on this whole Hunt imbroglio.

    The point I will make in my review is this: That is the only major point of disagreement I have with the book. Which if you have read my reviews, makes it an exceptional book.

  12. a registered nurse
    October 29, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Please check out the tactics described by the site FightGangStalking dot com. Ignore the phrase “gang stalking”, but pay close attention to the crimes: stalking, harassment, defamation, mail tampering, job interference, surreptitious home-entries, vandalism, theft, among others. Some of those who are being victimized are mentally ill, and they are ignored when they attempt to describe what is happening. Given my research, “gang stalking” goes back decades and is linked to MKUltra — a program created by Allen Dulles back in 1953.

    I’m reading Talbot’s book now. Thanks for the review and please take a few minutes to look at the aforementioned site. Most people will pretty quickly write it off as “nonsense”, when it is anything but…

    Recently in Fargo, ND:

    http://www.valleynewslive.com/home/headlines/Gang-stalking–336131961.html

  13. John Kirsch
    October 31, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Three quick points/questions on the riddle of the JFK assassination:
    1. The motorcade route was chosen on Nov. 15, eight days before the assassination. I think this short time line undermines the possibility of a wide-spread conspiracy.
    2. The so-called “magic bullet” passed through JFK and Connally and emerged virtually unscathed, according to the official story. Yet the third and fatal bullet exploded on impact with the president’s skull, leaving only trace amounts. How could both bullets have been fired from the same gun?
    3. Why didn’t Oswald, the alleged assassin, leave Dallas after the assassination?

    • John Kirsch
      October 31, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      Sorry. Seven days.

  14. Bobby English
    October 31, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Hi,

    There is no SATAN!

    Jeremiah 17:9 and James 1:12-22 explains where EVIL comes from:

    GET IT RIGHT!

    To see “SATAN” all you need to do is look in YOUR mirror:

    JEREMIAH 17:9

    The HEART/MIND is deceitful above ALL things, and desperately evil; who can understand it?

    And if you want to understand how EVIL is created, then read

    JAMES 1:12-22.

    12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

    13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”, for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

    14 But each person is tempted when he is LURED and ENTICED (BY SATAN???) BY HIS OWN DESIRE.

    15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

    16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

    17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

    18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

    20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

    21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

    22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

  15. Bobby English
    October 31, 2015 at 10:26 am

    HISTORY IS NOT A NEWSPAPER!

    ITS A JIGSAW PUZZLE, WITH A TRILLION PIECES, WITH NO PICTURE ON THE BOX!

    START AT THE EDGE & WORK IN TOWARDS THE CENTER, WHERE BABAL & THE WHORE OF BABYLON SIT!

    The JEWISH BIBLE is the source of the Vile!

    The JEWISH BIBLE is GOYOPHOBIC!

    The JEWISH BIBLE is the PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION!

    The JEWISH BIBLE was created by EZRA THE SCRIBE & SAUL OF TARSUS, THE PHARISEE!

    SAUL OF TARSUS IS A FALSE APOSTLE & PREACHED A FALSE GOSPEL.

    PROPHET JESUS OF GALILEE CONDEMNED THE BLOODY SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM

    Undergirding the theory that it was the cheating money-changers whom Jesus targeted as the culprits in the system of animal sacrifice, is the claim that the whole process had become “too commercial.”

    This is akin to claiming that the institution of slavery had to be dismantled because it had become too commercial. Although both Temple sacrifices and human slavery had a firm economic foundation, it was the inherent immorality of those systems that brought together the historical forces which finally led to their collapse.

    Several hundred years after prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, and Hosea had denounced the sacrificial slaughter of animals, Jesus carried out what is euphemistically called the Cleansing of the Temple. It was just before Passover and he disrupted the buying and selling of animals that were being purchased for slaughter. And because Christian scholars and religious leaders continue to ignore biblical denunciations of that bloody worship, they also try to obscure the reason for Jesus’ assault on the system.
    They have done this by focusing on the money-changers, although they were only minor players in the drama that took place. It was the cult of sacrifice that Jesus tried to dismantle, not the system of monetary exchange. In all three gospel accounts of the event, those who provided the animals for sacrifice are mentioned first: they were the primary focus of Jesus’ outrage.

    The Gospel of John gives the most detailed account of the event.

    “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
    In the Temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the Temple, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said: ‘Get out of here.’ (John 2:13-16)

    Matthew’s gospel does not detail the kind of animals that were being sold for slaughter, but it gives the same order of events.

    “Jesus entered the Temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.
    ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My House will be called a House of Prayer but you are making it a Den of Robbers.’” (Matthew 21:12-13)

    The same account is given in the gospel of Mark who, like Matthew, also reports that Jesus accused those at the Temple of making God’s house into a “den of robbers.” And there is universal acknowledgement that in both gospels, when Jesus said this, he was quoting from the prophet Jeremiah (7:11). That prophet had hurled the same accusation at the people of his own time, almost six hundred years earlier. He said it while standing at the Temple entrance, after he had already warned the people “do not shed innocent blood in this place.” And when Jeremiah said God’s House had been turned into a Den of Robbers it could not have had anything to do with money-changers–they did not exist in his time.

    In the time of Jeremiah, as in the time of Jesus, there was a great distinction made between “robbers” and “thieves.” In contemporary times that distinction can best be understood by comparing the crime of petty theft with crimes of armed robbery by those who violently attack/kill their victims. But in ancient Israel there was an even greater distinction. A thief could be anyone who succumbed to a momentary impulse to steal something, but a robber was someone for whom violent crime and killing was a lifestyle.
    Both Jesus and Jeremiah were indignant about the violence of sacrificial worship, not the possibility of petty theft by money-changers. When they said God’s House had become a den of “robbers” the Hebrew word that was used (here, transliterated) was “per-eets’” defined as “violent, i.e., a tyrant–destroyer, ravenous, robber.” It was the violence of the system, the killing of innocent victims in the name of God, that they were condemning. The money changers operating in the time of Jesus were driven out of the Temple because they were taking part in the process of sacrificial religion, NOT because they may have been cheating the pilgrims.

    The gospel of Mark correlates Jesus’ attempt to dismantle the sacrificial system with the plot to kill him. Like Matthew’s gospel, Mark’s account of the Temple Cleansing starts by saying that Jesus “began driving out those who were buying and selling there.” It goes on to relate how he explained to the people why he was doing this, by quoting Jeremiah’s opposition to animal sacrifice:

    “My House will be called a House of Prayer for ALL Nations. But you have made it a ‘Den of Robbers.’”

    And in the verse of scripture immediately following that statement, Mark reports that “The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard about this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him because the whole crowd was amazed at his teachings.”(Mark 11:18)

    It is ridiculous to claim that the religious leaders of Jesus’ time would have plotted his death because he undermined the function of the money-changers. Nor would the crowd have been “amazed at his teachings” if Jesus was simply telling them to make sure they were not short-changed when they purchased Temple coins. What the people were amazed at was his condemnation of animal sacrifice; it had been hundreds of years since that kind of condemnation had been heard in Jerusalem. And it would not be allowed. A few days after he tried to overthrow the Cult of Animal Sacrifice, Jesus was crucified. The religious leaders of his time were determined to preserve the belief that it had been ordained by God, who demanded its continuance.

    That determination is echoed in the teachings of contemporary Christian leaders. In spite of Jesus, and in spite of the many biblical denunciations of animal sacrifice (*see endnote) they continue to maintain the ancient fiction that it was God who demanded His creatures be killed and butchered as an act of worship.

    It is understandable that in the time of Jesus the religious leaders were committed to upholding the system of Temple sacrifice at all costs: it was the center around which their lives revolved and their livelihood depended. And in biblical times, most people were illiterate and dependent on what their religious leaders taught them concerning the scriptures. But it is not easy to understand why contemporary Christians uphold the validity of the cult of animal sacrifice. In an age of widespread literacy, there is a choice to be made. The bible clearly presents an ongoing conflict between those forces that demanded sacrificial victims in the name of God, and those forces that opposed it as a man-made perversion.

    And because there is a choice to be made, it is deeply disturbing to see Christian leaders joining hands across the centuries with their ancient counterparts, in order to validate a system of worship in which the house of God became a giant slaughterhouse, awash in the blood of its victims.

    *Partial list of scriptures opposing animal sacrifice.
    Psalm 40:6
    Isaiah 1:11-17;
    Jeremiah 7:3-7, 11, 21-25
    Hosea 8:11-13,
    Amos 5:21-25
    Micah 6:6-8

    • cedarsagecatrina
      October 31, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Your invocation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion reduces your credibility to zero. They are the most thoroughly debunked hoax in recent history , starting with The Times of London’s expose in 1921 . But they are the beloved stroke book of Jew bashers the world over .
      What you refer to as the Jewish Bible – i.e. the Tanakh – is what Christians call the Old Testament . Jew haters in the first few centuries of Christianity tried to excise the Old Testament from the Christian Bible . The early Church fathers overruled the move on the grounds that the New Testament can’t stand alone as it is deeply interwined with the OT narrative . You do know that Jesus was Jewish , don’t you ?
      As far as the rest of your venomous spew goes , I’ve heard much the same from the more passionate of the New Atheists . A little selective editing here , a wrenching out of context there , sprinkle in a few omissions and distortions , combine with some anachronistic backwards projections and your poison is served .

  16. Vesuvius
    November 1, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I beg your pardon, but: Regarding the assassination of JFK, haven’t you read James W. Douglass’ superinformative book “JFK and the Unspeakable”? Dr Douglass has uncovered the plot. And it is all set for a new round, “if need be”. That’s why the public never will be told the truth from the proper authorities, only from private investigators.

  17. Randolph Bourne
    November 1, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    “If LBJ was so ruthless that he killed his way to the presidency, why did he decide not to run again in 1968?”

    That’s a thought. The way to find out why LBJ dropped out is to read up on in. It was because he was discredited by Vietnam and the Democratic Party had turned against him. Not impressed by an author so untethered to evidence.

Comments are closed.